For high-risk and refractory hematological malignancies, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) is the only available curative therapy, with benefits derived from the antigenic disparity between recipient cancer and the incoming immune system. This immunologic mismatch can also lead to lethal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and immunosuppression strategies, including high-dose posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy), have been developed to allow for safe alloHSCT delivery. In this issue of JCI, Wachsmuth et al. present the results of preclinical studies designed to evaluate the mechanisms that underlie efficacy of PTCy after alloHSCT. The results of this study challenge previous reports indicating that alloreactive T cell elimination and thymic clonal deletion are primary mediators of PTCy efficacy and provide strong evidence to support FoxP3+CD4+ Tregs as important effectors of PTCy benefits.
Vedran Radojcic, Leo Luznik